Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Patriotism is good for your morale

Feeling proud to be British makes you feel good about life in general, according to scientists. They found that the kind of pride that makes people happiest is when they feel they ‘belong’ to a country, regardless of ethnicity.

Researchers studied interviews of 41,000 residents of 31 European nations and found civic pride was most linked to a general feeling of well being.

This is often because those who felt a country’s laws, traditions and institutions made them feel they belonged often had a better quality of life overall.

The study was conducted jointly by political scientists and sociologists at Washington’s American University and Belgium’s Catholic University. They found the links between national pride and happiness were high across Europe.

But they were highest where a person felt the country in which they lived contributed to their overall lifestyle rather than their own ethnic background.

National pride - where a person declares, for instance, that they are proud to be a German, or a Brit or a Spaniard - led to an increase in overall happiness. But the increases were greater among those who expressed a civic pride - defined as a respect for the way their country is run which defines their everyday lives.

Matthew Wright, of American University and Tim Reeskens of Catholic University, said it was more than pure flag waving patriotism that made people happy.

The study, published in the journal Psychological Science, said: ‘Civic nationalism is more inclusive, requiring respect for a country’s institutions and laws for belonging. ‘Unlike ethnic nationalism, that view is open to minorities or immigrants, at least in principle.’ It added: ‘More national pride correlated with greater personal well-being.

‘But the civic nationalists were on the whole happier, and even the proudest ethnic nationalists’ well-being barely surpassed that of people with the lowest level of civic pride.’

Matthew Wright said: ‘You have to look at how people define their pride.’


References are now 'not worth the paper they are written on' because of Britain's data protection laws

Job references are ‘not worth the paper they are written on’ because of controversial data protection laws, a peer said yesterday. Baroness Deech said the rules meant those writing references for university and job applicants are too scared to be honest because candidates can find out what was said about them.

The Data Protection Act gives people the right to ask to see all the written information that is held about them, including a reference from a school, university or former employer.

Lady Deech, who gained extensive experience of looking at references during her time as a law tutor at Oxford University, said: ‘Before the Data Protection Act, we got references from schools.

‘They might say: “Young So and So may be very shy and quiet, but we assure you she is very bright, give her a chance. 'Her mother is an alcoholic. Her father left her. But we know she will deliver.'

‘It actually helped you give under-privileged people a chance. Or from a public school, they would write: “Young Camilla will give a polished performance, but we have had to work very hard with her.”’

But Lady Deech said in an interview that the Act, which came into force in 1984 but was revised in 1998, has put an end to such honesty. Lady Deech, a crossbencher who sits on the Lords Communications Committee, added: ‘They won’t say that now. All references just say: “Young So and So will get three As. She has been a good student.”

‘[This is] because they know the parents can see it. They are not worth the paper they are written on, and I think that’s really wrong. It has destroyed the ability to choose.’

Lady Deech said that if she were made Prime Minister for a morning, she would put abolishing the Act at the top of her ‘to do’ list.

But a spokesman for the Information Commissioner’s Office, which promotes data privacy for individuals, dismissed Lady Deech’s comment as ‘a misconception’.

He said: ‘The Act gives individuals the right to access information that is held about them. 'This can help people in many areas of their lives – from ensuring information is accurate on their credit file to seeing their medical records, or seeing what a prospective employer has been told about them if they are refused a job.

‘To suggest that this right prevents employers providing honest references is a misconception. ‘All it means is that employers who write references should be able to justify their comments.

‘If there are specific problems with an employee it would be reasonable to expect that the employee would already have been made aware of these.’

Dr Jill Miller, an adviser to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, urged those giving references to be totally truthful, as long as they can substantiate their comments. She said: ‘What is important when writing a reference is that all data given should be based on fact or capable of independent verification. ‘As a guide, references should be fair, accurate and not give a misleading overall impression of the employee.’

It comes at a time when the hunt for a job is a nightmare for young people, who are competing for work as unemployment hits a 17-year high. More than one in five people between the age of 16 and 24 is unemployed, smashing the one million landmark for the first time, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Tanya de Grunwald, founder of the careers website Graduate, said: ‘Youth unemployment is no longer a problem – it is now a full-blown crisis.’

Even before the crisis, there was evidence of job candidates lying on their CVs in a desperate bid to get a job. One winner of the BBC show The Apprentice, Lee McQueen, came under fire for pretending to go to university for two years. In fact, he had attended Thames Valley University for four months.

One of the most famous CV cheats was Alison Ryan who was hired to a £125,000 prestigious job as director of communications at Manchester United. She boasted that it was ‘a dream come true’ but a Daily Mail investigation revealed that she had lied about her past. Fans quickly nicknamed her ‘Alison Wonderland.’


Rebel, Rebel: Tim Tebow

Tim Tebow is a devout evangelical Christian, who is not shy about praying on the football field. He's also very good at football

By Doug Giles

I wonder if the Tebow critics would be as mouthy about his faith if Tim’s name was Achmed and the god he praised after a TD was Allah. I doubt it. Why do I hesitate? Well, it’s principally because Christophobic toads are afraid to turn the verbal guns they use to berate Christians on Muslims, that’s why. Plus, they’d probably go to jail or get fired for “hate speech,” but good Lord, you can certainly rag on Christians, now can’t ‘cha?

Yes, my children, Christians are fair game because the brethren won’t retaliate with an underwear bomb when you rip on them, and ridiculing them won’t get one censored. The harpy head lice know it and thus proceed with their daft quips about Tim’s faith displays. Macho, macho men.

Hey, Tebow critics: Why don’t you lambaste someone else with your unread blog? Y’know, like the air-humping narcissistic players who make parents cover their kids’ eyes every time they make a decent play, huh? Or would doing so be to condemn thyself, soul stroker?

Let me see if I get this straight: A sex worshipping, multi-tattooed thug with three illegit kids from three different women scores a touchdown and then proceeds to simulate a sex act in the end zone—in front of our children and the millions watching by television—and that’s okay? Why sure it is. Who are we to judge? Matter of fact, let’s give that future inmate a Nike ad and bump his contract up a few mil because he brings spice (and crabs) to the game. Ah … sweet progress.

On the other hand, in this evil-is-good and good-is-evil highway to hell culture, Tim Tebow, a model citizen, points toward heaven or bows a Rodin-style knee to Yahweh, and boom … he’s the bad guy. Well, if that’s the way it is in this culture of corruption then I’m supporting the rebel, Tim Tebow. He’s a rebel with a cause. The others are ridiculous without a clue.

Oh, by the way, I thought bullying was banned in this nicey-nice milieu that the progressives have created. Did I miss a class where it is cool to mock the crap out of anyone who wears their faith in Jesus Christ on their sleeve? I must have because these jealous wannabes are going medieval on the Broncos’ QB.

As I sit back and watch the Tebow haters moan online and on air about TT’s commitment to the Five Solas of the Reformation, I’m trying to get what’s left of my mind around Tebow’s crimes against humanity. So far here’s what I have come up with:

1. Tim believes in Jesus Christ. As do, I believe, um, millions upon millions of other folks. Let me check. Yes, I’m right. Google says there are a bunch of Christians out there.

2. Tim’s a virgin. You can’t be a virgin anymore in our day, right? Yes, not being a whore in the 21st century is a sin to many like Charlie Sheen. Let me ask the ladies this question: Would you be cool with marrying a handsome, multi-millionaire star quarterback who you know doesn’t have some STD eating his junk? I thought so.

3. Tim is public with his praise to God … as were Abraham, Moses, David, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Jesus, the Apostle Paul and America’s founders.

4. The Broncos miraculously keep on winning.

In summary, Tim is guilty of gratitude to God for all that He has given him, purity when it comes to sex and winning football games. Wow, what a loser.

Oh, one more thing: This goes out to the obnoxious atheists who are spewing smack about Tebow’s devotion to God. Say you’re wrong in your assessment of whether there is a God or not, and oops, it turns out He does exist. I’m a guessin’ that you might be messin’ your pants one day when you have to go toe-to-toe with the One whose faithful followers you’ve been mocking for the last few years.

Go Broncos!


U.S. Post Office in Maryland Kicks Out Christmas Carolers

Considering that the U.S. Postal Service is losing money hand over fist, you would think that they had better things to do. It's certainly an uncommercial orientation. The "We are the government" attitude certainly gives a large hint about why they are not covering their costs

Did the United States Postal Service ban Christmas carolers from singing indoors? Apparently a branch in Silver Spring, Maryland, recently went so far as to “kick” carolers out. The office’s manager interrupted the singers in mid-tune and told them that they weren’t allowed to perform on government property.

While some would dismiss this story as a tall tale or a concocted attempt at legitimizing the War on Christmas, a spokesperson for the USPS confirmed that the incident did, indeed, happen after three carolers entered the building and began to carol. According to the spokesperson, the carolers had “beautiful voices,” but they were not permitted to sing in the lobby. In an interview with Fox News & Commentary, the spokesperson said:
“Public assembly and public address, except when conducted or sponsored by the Postal Service, are prohibited in lobbies and other interior areas open to the public. We have rules and regulations governing conduct on postal property. The only reason you should be inside is for postal business.”

But the carolers were confused, as they claim that they’ve been performing at the shopping center that houses the post office for years. In fact, they say they’ve even performed inside of the post office before without incident. When they tried to explain this to postal employees, they failed and were asked to leave.

JP Duffy, an employee of the Family Research Council, was in line with his wife and daughter at the time of the incident. Here’s what he had to say about it:
“They were only a few notes into their carol when suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a scowling postal manager rushing to confront the carolers. “He told them that they had to leave immediately because they were violating the post office’s policy against solicitation. He told them they couldn’t do this on government property. He said: ‘You can’t go into Congress and sing and you can’t do it here either.’”

Duffy went on to say that the customers booed the postal worker who kicked the carolers out. He also stated his belief that this is another example of religion being taken out of the public square.

“This postal manager has clearly received the memo which has led him to stamp out Christmas caroling,” Duffy said. ”But I have my own memo to all the Christmas carolers out there. Let’s not surrender to the secularist version of Christmas future.”



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


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